Family Chrysopidae - Green Lacewings
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Neuroptera (Antlions, Lacewings, and Allies)
Suborder Hemerobiiformia (Lacewings and Allies)
Family Chrysopidae (Green Lacewings)
Other Common Names
(also noted in Merriam-Webster
Explanation of Names
Chrysopidae Schneider 1851
from the Latin chrys-, after the ancient Greek χρυσός, ('gold') + ōps ('face') + -idae (taxonomic family suffix), seemingly referring to the typically golden eyes found in green lacewings
named after the type genus, Chrysopa
Leach 1815, which is used as the root of many green lacewing genera
~82 spp. in 16 genera* in our area;(2)(3)(4)(5)
ca. 1,200 spp. in 75 genera and 3 subfamilies worldwide(6)
* Genus not yet in the guide: Plesiochrysa Adams, 1982 (1 sp., FL)
Key to most NA genera in (7)
Wings appear hairless to the naked eye, but bear short hairs along the edges and veins
Most species are green, but some are brown, especially overwintering adults of certain species of the Chrysoperla carnea group and Chrysoperla rufilabris:
Pinned specimens turn yellowish.
Larvae are 'alligator-like', with large jaws. Larvae of some spp. cover themselves with bits of litter/debris.
Common in grass and weeds and on tree/shrub foliage
Some adults are predators, others take liquids such as honeydew, and some feed on pollen
Larvae prey on insects, especially aphids (sometimes called 'aphid lions'); will also consume larger insects, insect eggs, and pupae.
Eggs are characteristically stalked. The eggs and egg-laying shown here:
The larvae pupate in silken cocoons usually attached to the underside of leaves or stems.
Click on either image to see the life cycle of Chrysopa oculata
Genera such as Chrysopa often give off an unpleasant odor when handled.
Some species used as biological controls.
of larvae feeding on aphids.
Adults are crepuscular or nocturnal.
Several parasitoids of members of this family include:
Perilampus chrysopae (Hymenoptera: Perilampidae)
Hyperimerus corvus (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae)
Telenomus chrysopae (Hymenoptera: Scelionidae)
Duelli P., Johnson J.B., Waldburger M., Henry C.S. (2014) A new look at adaptive body coloration and color change in “Common Green Lacewings” of the genus Chrysoperla (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae). Ann. Ent. Soc. Am. 107(2): 382-388 (Full text
Tauber C., Tauber M.J., Albuquerque G.S. (2014) Debris-carrying in larval Chrysopidae: Unraveling its evolutionary history. Ann. Ent. Soc. Am. 107(2): 295-314 (Full text
|1.||Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America|
Eric Eaton, Kenn Kaufman. 2006. Houghton Mifflin.
|5.||Song Analysis Reveals a Permanent Population of the Mediterranean Lacewing Chrysoperla agilis (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae) Living i|
Charles S. Henry, Stephen J. Brooks, James B. Johnson, Marta M. Wells, & Peter Duelli. 2011. Annals of the Entomological Society of America, Vol. 104, no. 4, pp. 649-657.
|7.||The green lacewings of Florida (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae). 1. Genera|
Stange L.A. 2000. Fla. Dept. Agric. & Consumer Serv., Division of Plant Industry, Entomology Circular No. 400.
|8.||A new look at adaptive body coloration and color change in “Common Green Lacewings” of the genus Chrysoperla|
Peter Duelli, James B. Johnson, Mario Waldburger, & Charles S. Henry. 2014. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 107(2): 382-388.
|9.||Debris-Carrying in Larval Chrysopidae: Unraveling Its Evolutionary History|
Catherine A. Tauber, Maurice J. Tauber, & Gilberto S. Albuquerque. 2014. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 107(2):295-314.